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Caravel Forum : Caravel Boards : General : DMOD Vol. 1&2 - Loudness issues
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scowcroft1
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icon DMOD Vol. 1&2 - Loudness issues (+4)  
Hi there! Long(ish)-time lurker, first-time poster. And yes, my inaugural post comes in the form of a complaint -- apologies for that. :blush

Anyway, what compelled me to write this was that I bought the OST mentioned in the subject line from the Caravel website a few hours ago... and was hit with an unpleasant surprise on first listening to the files. The music itself is perfectly fine, but someone at some point must have seriously been fiddling with the volume knob because these MP3s are just excruciatingly loud. Not only does the resulting compression make the audio sound needlessly claustrophobic, there's even audible distortion in places (Without Fear from JtRH being one fairly egregious case), all of which makes for a harsh listening experience that's markedly inferior to how the tracks appear in-game. Which is a shame, because the actual music is highly enjoyable.

Since I have a hard time imagining that nobody noticed any of this before shipping, and the search function does not seem to indicate that mine is a common complaint at all, I have to ask: Can anyone who owns the soundtrack (perhaps even the CD) confirm that this is indeed how it sounds? That is to say, is the loudness a feature of the original release or is it for some strange reason unique to my download? I have no option of measuring DR values right now, but the files sound exactly the same using different audio players, so the problem does not appear to be on my end.
12-03-2018 at 06:31 PM
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ErikH2000
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icon Re: DMOD Vol. 1&2 - Loudness issues (+3)  
Interesting.

The tracks were made with a pretty unsophisticated tool (by audio pro standards) called Sound Club. Don't get me wrong--I loved that software. But the mixdown was a single feature with no settings. I am 98% sure the DMOD files used to make the CD image are the same as the in-game files. So if the in-game music sounds right to you, look for differences in your playback hardware/software. If they both sound wrong, nothing can be done other than turning the volume down. I don't even have the original sequence format files.

I understand the compression issue you are describing. I'll say in general, my production technique at the time had no room to avoid various audio quality problems I would be able to address today.

-Erik

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Animations I made: Always the Boss * Paliwal's Pecans * Office Hate * Sleepless Night
Some stuff I wrote: Top 10 Mazes You Canít Solve By Following the Right Wall * Let's Just Lie About Dieting * The Philosophical Reason for Running * Dare to be Mediocre!

[Last edited by ErikH2000 at 12-05-2018 02:29 AM]
12-03-2018 at 08:05 PM
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scowcroft1
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icon Re: DMOD Vol. 1&2 - Loudness issues (+2)  
quote:
ErikH2000 wrote: I am 98% sure the DMOD files used to make the CD image are the same as the in-game files.


Thanks for the reply! This was the confirmation I needed to investigate things further, so I downloaded AE to make sure that the issue really does rest with the files as you suggest, and sure enough they appear to sound pretty much identical to the ones on the OST. A growing suspicion that I might have overlooked something crucial then prompted me to look at JtRH's settings, and indeed I had forgotten that my laptop's master volume wasn't the only thing that controlled in-game volume because the slider for that was set far below max by default. On closer inspection the abovementioned artifacts do appear there as well, they're simply more subdued due to the lower volume -- and greater attention usually being given to the actual game.

What an embarrassing oversight on my part! Well, mystery solved. (Interestingly Emmett Plant's title track suffers from the same overloudness, but I imagine that one was merely amplified after the fact to achieve consistency with the rest of the music.)

It's unfortunate that these flaws actually are baked in, but if the game managed to fool me for as long as it did, I might be able to cope.
12-04-2018 at 09:19 AM
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ErikH2000
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icon Re: DMOD Vol. 1&2 - Loudness issues (+1)  
quote:
scowcroft1 wrote:
What an embarrassing oversight on my part! Well, mystery solved. (Interestingly Emmett Plant's title track suffers from the same overloudness, but I imagine that one was merely amplified after the fact to achieve consistency with the rest of the music.)

Quite possible he did that, or we took his music and futzed it up to match the rest. Emmett was at a more professional level than me and Mike with his audio at the time. Actually, his stuff was really polished-sounding in comparison to mine, to the point that putting them in the same game together was a little discontinuous.

-Erik

____________________________
Animations I made: Always the Boss * Paliwal's Pecans * Office Hate * Sleepless Night
Some stuff I wrote: Top 10 Mazes You Canít Solve By Following the Right Wall * Let's Just Lie About Dieting * The Philosophical Reason for Running * Dare to be Mediocre!
12-05-2018 at 02:29 AM
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